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Magazine Capacity be Damned

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Earlier this week, Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) reintroduced the “Keep Americans Safe Act” as companion bills in both the House and the Senate.

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The bill seeks to amend the Gun Control Act (“GCA”) to add a definition for the term “large capacity ammunition feeding device.” The term would be defined to mean

…a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, helical feeding device, or similar device, including any such device joined or coupled with another in any manner, that has an overall capacity of, or that can be readily restored, changed, or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition…

Excluded from the definition would be any tubular device for .22lr ammunition.

In addition to amending the definitions, the bill would also implement a new prohibition of “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” which would prohibit individuals from importing, selling, manufacturing, transferring, or possessing any devices that were not lawfully possessed prior to the effective date. There is a grandfather provision for magazines that are in the possession of a person at the time of adoption of this bill (if it were to be passed into law).

As commonly seen in this type of legislation, the bill provides exceptions for 1) United States Departments or Agencies, 2) law enforcement, 3) licensees under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 for security purposes, 4) retired law enforcement who had the magazines transferred to them at the time of retirement or ones that they had purchased for duty use prior to retirement, and 5) by licensed importers or manufacturers for testing or experimenting with authorization from the Attorney General. The bill would also require any “large capacity magazine feeding device” manufactured after the date of enactment of the proposed legislation to bear a serial number and date of manufacture.

The Senate version of the bill currently has 28 co-sponsors. It is currently unknown how many House Members co-sponsor the House version of the bill.

“The Keep Americans Safe Act would finally limit the sale of large capacity magazines that are not designed for hunting or self-defense…Inaction on gun violence is not an option and anyone who refuses to address a real emergency like this one is complicit in the carnage.” – Senator Menendez

“Whether you're using a firearm for sport or self-defense, there is no need for a magazine that can hold more than ten rounds of ammunition.” – Representative Deutch

Based on the quotes found in the press release, it is quite clear that politicians are attempting to spin the ability to possess magazines that hold more than ten rounds as being inconsistent with hunting or self-defense, a fact known to be patently false. With the constant onslaught of proposed gun control legislation, it is imperative that readers take the time to contact their Senators and Representatives and demand that they vote “No” on this bill.



Adam Kraut is a firearms law attorney practicing in southeastern PA and across the country federally. He hosts The Legal Brief, a show dedicated to crushing the various myths and misinformation around various areas of the gun world and The Gun Collective Podcast. He was also the general manager of a gun store in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

Instagram: @theadamkraut
Twitter: @Kraut4NRA



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